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Almost three months have passed since Russia invaded Ukraine. This is how things are now

2022-05-21T16:22:12.539Z

Russia has wrought devastation on Ukraine and its population, causing large-scale death and causing millions to flee.



This was the traumatic flight from the hell of Azovstal 2:35

(CNN) --

It has been nearly three months since Russia invaded Ukraine, a 12-week period in which Russian forces have wrought devastation on the country and its people, causing large-scale death and sending millions fleeing. of people.

However, the invasion has not been the military success Moscow hoped for and is now in its second phase.

  • Latest news from the war in Ukraine: Russia stops supplying natural gas to Finland

Most of the fighting has moved east after the failure of Russian advances in central Ukraine.

Even the defenders are focusing on retaking some key areas closer to the Russian border, while Moscow is seeing its troops fall back in some key battles.

Western aid is also pouring into Ukraine, NATO is about to get stronger as countries try to unite, and the first Russian soldier charged with war crimes has been tried.

This is what has happened in several key areas since the war began.

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donbas

After weeks of intense fighting, Ukraine's eastern Donbas region is "completely destroyed," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday.

Zelensky accused Russia of a "deliberate and criminal attempt to kill as many Ukrainians as possible" after a town in Chernihiv was hit by missiles, leaving many dead.

Officials in the region say the front line is being shelled "day and night", with Russian forces trying to break through Ukrainian lines.

A NATO military official told CNN on Wednesday that the alliance expects something of a stalemate in the coming weeks.

But the official said NATO believes the momentum has shifted significantly in Ukraine's favor and the debate within NATO circles is now about whether it is possible for Kyiv to retake Crimea and Donbas territories seized by Russia and backed separatists. by Russia in 2014.

Kharkiv

Ukrainian forces have repulsed Russian attacks on Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv, and have advanced towards the border in several places to the north and east of the city.

Ukrainian authorities said last week that they were liberating villages on the outskirts of the city.

Their advances represented the symbolic and embarrassing expulsion of Kremlin forces to their own border, while also posing the strategic threat of cutting Russia's supply lines to Ukraine and displacing their forces south of Donbas.

Anastasia Paraskevova recently returned home to Kharkiv for the first time since she fled the city two months ago.

She had been subjected to constant bombardment ever since, until the Russian forces were repelled.

Paraskevova said the overall experience was a good one.

"The city was much more alive. People were walking the streets. And some shops were working. It seemed like some life had come back, much better than when I was here in March."

Kherson

Every day hundreds or even thousands of people try to flee the Russian-occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

The city has been under Russian control since the beginning of the invasion.

Ukrainians are leaving for many reasons: to avoid arrest or to escape heavy-handed actions by Russian forces, or because of chronic shortages of medicines and other essentials in Kherson, which fell to Russian control shortly after the invasion. .

Last week, a convoy of about 1,000 vehicles tried to leave Kherson.

In the end, the Russians allowed the convoy to move in batches, but only after holding it in one place for most of the day.

Mariupol

Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of ​​Azov, finally fell to Russian forces after weeks of relentless shelling.

The city was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

It was there that Russia carried out deadly attacks on a maternity ward and the bombing of a theater where hundreds of civilians had taken refuge from the violence.

Mariupol became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance as its defenders held out in Azovstal, a sprawling steel plant that sheltered up to 1,000 civilians at one point, as food and water supplies dwindled.

The Ukrainian military announced late on Monday that its forces had completed their "combat mission" in Azovstal, effectively ceding the town to Russian forces.

On Friday, Ukraine ordered its forces to stop defending the plant.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday that almost 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered in Azovstal.

CNN cannot independently verify that figure.

With the city now almost entirely under Russian control there are concerns that evidence of any possible war crimes - such as those allegedly committed in Bucha and Borodianka - could be lost or destroyed.

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An explosion is seen from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, in the early hours of Thursday, February 24.

(Credit: Office of the President of Ukraine)

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Ukrainian servicemen patrol in Ukraine's Luhansk region on February 24.

(Anatoly Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images)

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CNN crews in Kyiv heard airborne sirens for several minutes Thursday morning at 7:00 a.m. local time.

Sirens were heard throughout the city.

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CNN witnessed, through a live video, the entry of troops into Ukraine in a column of military vehicles from a border crossing with Belarus.

(Credit: Ukrainian Border Guard)

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A small group of people gathered to pray in Kharkiv.

(Source: CNN)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine early Thursday (local time).

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Two young women with a suitcase use a phone at a subway station in Kyiv in the early hours of February 24, 2022. (DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

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A couple talk to each other at a Kyiv metro station in the early hours of February 24, 2022. (DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

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People, some carrying bags and suitcases, walk in a Kyiv metro station in the early hours of Feb. 24, 2022. (DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

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People take shelter at the Vokzalna metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 24.

(Daniel Leal/AFP/Getty Images)

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Smoke rises from a military airport on the outskirts of Kharkiv on February 24.

A CNN crew in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, heard a "steady stream of loud explosions."

Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

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A long line of cars is seen leaving Kyiv on February 24.

Heavy traffic appeared to be heading west, away from where explosions were heard in the early morning.

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

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A woman is seen injured after an airstrike damaged an apartment complex on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24.

(Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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Police officers inspect the remains of a missile that landed on the street in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 24.

(Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)

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Ukrainian military prepare to repel an attack in Ukraine's Lugansk region on February 24, 2022. (Credit: ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

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Firefighters work on a building fire after shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chugiv on February 24, 2022, as Russian armed forces attempt to invade Ukraine from various directions, using rocket systems and helicopters to attack the Ukrainian position in the south.

the border guard service said.

(Credit: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

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A protester poses in front of the German Chancellery in Berlin on February 24, 2022 with a sign reading 'Putin Terrorist Nr 1', following Russia's military operation in Ukraine.

(Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

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An injured man stands next to a vehicle of an emergency unit to receive medical assistance after shelling in the city of Chuguiv, in eastern Ukraine, on February 24, 2022. (Credit: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

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"Stop 'Putler' (a play on words between Putin and Hitler), say protesters in London, England, at a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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A resident of the city of Hostomel walks through the streets in northwestern Kyiv, following the attack by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Russian and Ukrainian forces are fighting for control of an airbase on the northern outskirts of kyiv, according to a Ukrainian official.

(Credit: DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

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Smoke rises from an air defense base after an apparent Russian attack in Mariupol, Ukraine, on February 24.

A CNN crew in Mariupol reported hearing gunshots.

(Evgeny Maloletka/AP)

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People take shelter at a metro station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24.

(Brent Swails/CNN)

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Sviatoslav Fursin, left, and Yarina Arieva, center, kneel during their wedding ceremony at Saint Michael's Cathedral in kyiv on February 24.

Arieva, a 21-year-old deputy of the kyiv city council, and Fursin, a 24-year-old software engineer, had planned to marry in May but changed it due to attacks by Russian forces on Thursday.

(Christian Streib/CNN)

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People line up to buy train tickets at the central station in kyiv on February 24.

(Timothy Fadek/Redux for CNN)

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People in Moscow watch a televised speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin as he announces a military operation in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine on February 24.

(Sergei Illnitsky/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

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Image shows empty airspace over Ukraine and its border with Russia (LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

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Police block Red Square ahead of a planned unauthorized protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Moscow on Feb. 24, 2022. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

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Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Moscow on Feb. 24, 2022. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

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A demonstrator screams as police detain her during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Moscow on Feb. 24, 2022. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

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Firefighters try to extinguish a fire following an attack in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chuhuiv on February 24.

(Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

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People take shelter in a metro station before the curfew goes into effect on February 24, 2022 in kyiv, Ukraine.

Overnight, Russia began a full-scale attack on Ukraine, with explosions reported in several cities and far beyond the restive eastern regions held by Russian-backed rebels.

(Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Bucha

More evidence of possible Russian war crimes is emerging in Bucha, the northern Ukrainian city near Kyiv, the capital.

A New York Times investigation claims that Russian paratroopers carried out summary executions of at least eight Ukrainian men in Bucha on March 4.

Since early April, following the withdrawal of Russian forces from the Kyiv region, evidence of mass graves and executions of civilians has continued to emerge in the towns of Bucha and Borodianka.

Images of dead bodies strewn through the streets of Bucha have drawn international condemnation and fueled calls for an investigation into possible Russian war crimes.

  • Biden calls atrocities in Bucha a "war crime" and a humanitarian catastrophe in Mariúpol

CNN visited the Bucha mass graves in April, after the withdrawal of Russian forces, revealing to the world the horrors of their occupation.

Correspondent Fred Pleitgen was one of the first to arrive at a mass grave that residents dug while the site was under Russian occupation because many residents had been killed and longer burial ceremonies would have been too dangerous amid gunshots and the bombings.

Horror images in the suburbs of Kyiv 3:34

A soldier is tried

This week saw the start of Ukraine's first war crimes trial since the invasion began.

A 21-year-old Russian soldier named Vadim Shishimarin has pleaded guilty to killing an unarmed 62-year-old man.

The first day of the trial was so packed with journalists that the Kyiv authorities were forced to move to a larger venue.

Since then there have been several dramatic moments, such as a confrontation between the soldier and the victim's widow and the testimony of Shishimarin himself.

Vadim Shishimarin, 21, attends a court hearing on Wednesday.

In his speech on Friday, Shishimarin acknowledged that he was responsible for the murder, but "he was sincerely sorry and sorry."

"I was nervous at the time it happened. I didn't want to kill. But it happened and I don't deny it," he said.

Shishimarin's lawyer, Viktor Ovsyannikov, argued that although his client was guilty of killing, it was not murder.

"Shishimarin was in a state of stress caused by the combat situation and pressure from his commander. Analysis of these circumstances allows me to conclude that Shishimarin had no direct intention to commit the murder," Ovsyannikov said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that Russia has no details about Shishimarin's case and that he considers the accusations "unacceptable", "scandalous" and "false".

Russian soldier offers forgiveness for killing unarmed civilian 1:12

The diplomats return

Foreign diplomatic missions began to come to life in Kyiv this week, after diplomats fled the city en masse at the start of the conflict.

The US flag was raised on Wednesday to mark the official resumption of operations, while the Swiss Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it would also reopen its embassy.

Both the United States and France began sending their diplomats back to Kyiv in late April.

A massive aid package

U.S. lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill that will send some $40 billion to Ukraine to pay for military and humanitarian aid, including funds that will help the Ukrainian military and national security forces, help replenish stockpiles of U.S. equipment shipped to Ukraine and provide public health and medical support to Ukrainian refugees.

US President Joe Biden signed the aid package while in South Korea.

Evolution of the Nordic countries

Russia stopped sending natural gas to Finland on Saturday, just days after Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO.

Helsinki and Stockholm had avoided joining the alliance for decades, but cited the invasion of Moscow as the final push to do so now.

The two countries formally submitted their applications on Wednesday.

Most NATO members seem willing to support both candidates, except for Turkey.

  • ANALYSIS |

    Why is Turkey causing problems for Finland and Sweden in their NATO entry process?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that his country "will say no to Sweden and Finland's entry into NATO," citing his support for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The PKK seeks an independent state in Turkey and has been in an armed struggle with Ankara for decades.

It has been designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Some experts say that Erdogan may be trying to extract concessions or highlight grievances that Turkey wants to bring to the international community.

CNN's Rob Picheta contributed to this article.

War in Ukraine Russian invasion of Ukraine

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-05-21

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